Russian Federation

In 2017, tourism contributed RUB 3.2 trillion to the economy, equivalent to 3.8% of Russian GVA, and an increase of 21.4% from 2016. The tourism industry in Russia employed 540 500 people in 2017.

The number of international visitor arrivals recorded in 2018 was 24.6 million, up 0.7% over 2017. The main source markets were Ukraine (with a 33.4% market share), followed by Kazakhstan (14.3%), and China (6.9%). Other key markets include Finland, Azerbaijan, Poland and Germany. Based on accommodation statistics, 11.5 million overnight visitors were recorded from international markets in 2018, representing a 43% increase compared with the previous year.

The number of domestic arrivals recorded in 2018 was 62.2 million, an increase of 16.2% from 2017. Inbound and domestic tourism are driven by a range of activities, the most popular including sports (particularly skiing), education, business, medical, cruises, fishing and hunting, events and gastronomy. In addition to traditional tourism in Russia, new forms of tourism are emerging, including more innovative, tailored and experience-based offers.

The main body responsible for Russian tourism policy is the Ministry of Economic Development, where a special Department of Tourism has been established. Until 2019, the Ministry of Culture fulfilled Russia’s tourism functions (through the Federal Agency for Tourism), but these functions were moved to the Ministry of Economic Development due to the increasing importance of tourism for the overall development of the country.

The Federal Agency for Tourism, now under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Economic Development, oversees the regional tourism agencies, which are responsible for the following:

  • the development of strategic planning documents,

  • the creation and maintenance of favourable conditions for the development of the industry,

  • access to tourist resources, communications and assistance,

  • tourist information centres,

  • navigation and orientation systems,

  • organisation of research in the field of tourism, and

  • events supporting tourism development priorities.

The Ministry of Economic Development collaborates with a wide range of other federal executive bodies in its activities, particularly in the areas of tourism policy development, training, tourist safety, infrastructure, and data collection. Other collaboration includes the ministries of selected regions for the development of tourism in specific areas, as well as interested ministries in the development of, for example, ecotourism, cultural, sports, rural and children’s tourism.

The total state budget for tourism for the next three years is RUB 6.6 billion, allocated for 2020, increasing to RUB 13.1 billion in 2021 and RUB 12.4 billion in 2022. The majority of the national budget is allocated to three priority areas: infrastructure development and implementation of tourism investment projects (84% of the overall budget); support for tour operators whose activities are aimed at the development of inbound tourism (10%); and improving the quality of the tourist product (6%). The average budget allocated for the activities of the central office of the Federal Agency for Tourism (and regional tourism agencies) is RUB 134 million per year for the three-year period from 2020 to 2022.

The main task of the Ministry of Economic Development and the Federal Agency for Tourism is the comprehensive development of domestic and inbound tourism. Their aim is to achieve this by creating the necessary conditions for the development and promotion of high-quality tourist products that are competitive in both domestic and global markets. In addition, the Ministry and Federal Agency aim to strengthen the social role of tourism, increasing the availability of tourism and recreation services for residents of the Russian Federation. In the development of tourism, both authorities take into account the environmental and socio-cultural impacts as well as the need to ensure the safety of tourists.

The state priorities and objectives for tourism are set out in the Tourism Development Strategy and Action Plan for the period until 2020. The main national policy priorities are to:

  • Create a competitive tourist product,

  • Plan the development of tourist areas,

  • Provide associated infrastructure and transport,

  • Further develop tourist and support infrastructure,

  • Foster training and education development,

  • Develop new digital solutions,

  • Remove existing barriers and increase investment attractiveness,

  • Stimulate demand for tourist products,

  • Facilitate visa regimes,

  • Promote and raise the visibility of the tourist product,

  • Develop sustainable demand and increase the availability of tourist products,

  • Ensure greater tourism security.

The Action Plan includes a wide range of measures focused on various interconnected issues such as travel facilitation, industry and product development, marketing and promotion, skills and human capital development, and infrastructure investment. A new Tourism Development Strategy for the period to 2035 is currently being developed and is expected to be adopted at the end of 2019.

The main objectives of the new Tourism Development Strategy build on the previous framework and include:

  • the creation of a competitive tourist product for the Russian Federation,

  • stimulation of demand and increase of availability of the Russian tourist product in domestic and foreign markets,

  • improvement of the regulatory framework, taking into account development trends of the tourism industry, and,

  • improvement of the tourism management system in the Russian Federation, including the system of collecting, processing and analysing statistical data on the development of tourism.

Looking forward, Russia is focusing on increasing the social importance of tourism by strengthening the role of tourism in education, ensuring inter-cultural communication, inter-regional and international linkages and communication in the development of tourism; as well as the development of tourism products, which take into account the natural, cultural, and ethnic diversity of the regions of Russia.

Metadata, Legal and Rights

This document, as well as any data and map included herein, are without prejudice to the status of or sovereignty over any territory, to the delimitation of international frontiers and boundaries and to the name of any territory, city or area. Extracts from publications may be subject to additional disclaimers, which are set out in the complete version of the publication, available at the link provided.

© OECD 2020

The use of this work, whether digital or print, is governed by the Terms and Conditions to be found at